Following an import ban awarded to Microsoft last year that saw the ITC impose a block on imports of Google’s Motorola devices, Microsoft today filed a lawsuit accusing U.S. Customs of not enforcing the ban. Bloomberg reports Microsoft claims Google had “secret meetings” with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure the device continued to flow over borders:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, after having secret meetings with Google, continued to let the Motorola Mobility mobile phones enter the country even though Google has done nothing to remove the feature at the heart of the ITC case, Microsoft said in the complaint. The case illustrates what Lexmark International Inc. (LXK) and Lutron Electronics Co. in May called an “increasingly ineffective and unpredictable enforcement” of import bans imposed by the trade agency.
The courts are expected to hear Google’s appeal in the original patent case on August 6 in Washington, but the lawsuit launched today will presumably come into play during the hearing. Google still has the option to pay Microsoft to license the patent in question, which relates to Microsoft’s Exchange Active Sync technology, but it could also attempt to work around the patents. When the import ban first went into effect, Motorola said it ” has taken proactive measures to ensure that our industry leading smartphones remain available to consumers in the US.”
The following Motorola devices are covered by the ITC ruling: the Motorola Atrix, Backflip, Bravo, Charm, Cliq, Cliq 2, Cliq XT, Defy, Devour, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, Droid X, Droid X2, Flipout, Flipside, Spice, and Xoom.